Effective demand management
Looking at the bigger picture
Like many organisations during the pandemic, Optivo had to change services and processes to accommodate the challenges of social distancing and remote working. Coupled with a growing demand from customers for more self-service, this led Optivo’s Operations Directorate to revisit their operating model, with a new focus on digitalisation, and an enhanced customer experience.
Optivo contacted Ad Esse Consulting with a project in mind to progress their aims. They wanted to complete a piece of demand analysis on the customer facing parts of the organisation which would then inform a demand management strategy.
The strategy was to be built on a set of underlying principles:
- The strategy must focus on the customer experience first and focus on resolution at first point of contact
- The strategy should strive for a digital first approach
- The strategy must not exclude customers who cannot use the digital channels, or create an inferior service for them
- The model must make best use of the expertise within the organisation.
The infographic below outlines the overall approach that Optivo took to achieve their aim of having an effective model for demand management, built, and delivered around what customers want and expect from a modern organisation.
Why have a demand management strategy?
A demand management strategy aligns customer demand and the organisation’s processes, resources & capabilities, therefore ensuring that customers have their needs met effectively and efficiently.
Analysing the current demand
All demand that hits an organisation is either value-adding, e.g., what the team/organisation was originally set up to deal with, or failure demand. Failure demand is created through some failing in your services – a customer chasing calls is an example of failure demand. The demand management strategy needs to account for the management of both types of demand, although it should always be the organisation’s aim to remove and reduce failure demand as far as possible.
The demand analysis exercise was completed to get an understanding of why customers contact Optivo now. To do this, all the main customer facing teams (15 teams) were set up with an electronic form to record every single contact that they received. This included the reasons for each individual contact, such as making a payment, reporting a new repair, some other complaint, etc. This task was carried out by all teams over a four-week period.
Stoffer Bruun (Ad Esse Consultant) then analysed all the collected information, looking at the data in different ways to determine the number of contacts received overall. The volume of contacts was compared across teams and assessed whether the numbers reflected Optivo’s expectations. Most importantly, Stoffer analysed the reason for contact and collated the top 10 demands for each team and highlighted the reasons that were failure demand. In other words, something had gone wrong in the service before, so the customer had made contact. The percentage of failure demand out of total contacts were calculated for each team.
Based on the demand data collected, Stoffer offered a set of recommendations such as: areas for service reviews and improvement work where there were high numbers of failure demand; and continuing to capture this information within Optivo’s systems to become part of the team’s standard performance monitoring. This information can now be used to inform any service improvements.